Thursday, May 29, 2014
It's a Story Thing
I have a story to tell. The plot is not unique. The characters are not unique. There’s not even a twist or turn that you won’t see coming. But I have a story to tell that is unique. It is unique and completely mine. I may write all of it. Or some of it may be written for me. But no one can tell my story like I can. But how can it be unique if it’s been told before? Others have the same story. Others have the same characters. It’s unique because I have a set of life experiences that are unique to me. But no they aren’t. Others have experienced the same things I have. But they haven’t. My perception is what makes me unique. The way I’m feeling physically today will affect how I handle a change in a process. The way my brain processes colors will affect how I thought I looked in my new Easter dress when I was 8. How my heart feels when I look at my girls. How my hair feels on my head. What I saw my dad do when I was little skews how I see that same act now. What I heard my mom say growing up taints how I say things now. What my fingertips feel when I pet a dog or cat. What they feel when they run over skin that no longer has feeling. How my foot feels when I’m doing Jazzercise. How I felt when we had to turn a dog over to the shelter when I was young. How my tears felt running down my cheek. Why the color pink either makes me mad or happy. What I was thinking when I received a creative writing award in high school. What I was thinking when I wasn’t chosen for the cheerleading squad. What I was thinking when I was chosen. How chocolate ice cream tasted on a hot day. How it tasted on a cold day. How white the copy paper appears to me. How cluttered or dirty my desk appears. Why I procrastinate. Why I don’t. Why I like pickles and olives but not citrus. The memory of the one time I ate liver. The memory of watching my grandmother brush her hair. All these and many, many more make me unique. Did you ever watch your grandmother brush her hair? Probably. But how that memory affects what you do, see or hear is different from how it affects me. Do you like pickles? Do you know why? Why does a certain color evoke emotion? And why isn’t it the same for everyone? Because we are all unique. This thought came to mind through the simple act of putting on my brand new glasses. I’ve always worn glasses. My current prescription was 5 years old. I wear contacts most of the time, but had a problem so I went back to my glasses. Couldn’t see well. Got my new ones and voila! I can see! Everything was crisp and bright. My perception had been changed. I no longer felt I was seeing through fog. But that’s only one piece of how I perceive things. Everything in my life has shaped my feelings, emotions, reactions, and much more. It has shaped who I am, or I have purposely shaped who I am through writing my own story. Some things are out of your control. But what you can control is how you react – that’s part of writing your own story. As graduation season is in full swing, I say to those young and old alike what’s been said before: write your own story. Understand you have a unique point of view that no one else has. The worst thing you can do is plagiarize and try to be like someone else, copying their work. Do your own. Then your chocolate ice cream can taste like anything you want it to.